SouthWest Germany Showcases its Six UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The State Tourist Board of Baden-Württemberg, also known as SouthWest Germany, is marking the 75th
anniversary of the UNESCO with a reminder about its extraordinary UNESCO world heritage sites. SouthWest Germany proudly maintains its six UNESCO world heritage sites, including the distinguished and perfectly preserved Cistercian monastery of Maulbronn which was the first in SouthWest Germany‘s UNESCO crown in 1993.
Today SouthWest Germany’s UNESCO range from the oldest cave art in the world to iconic twentieth
century architecture. SouthWest Germany, officially the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, is a beautiful part of Germany that offers green hills and valleys, caves of ancient art and forests, large and small rivers and lakes, as well as great cities,palaces, castles, medieval monasteries and delicious food and wine. What many people do not know is that SouthWest Germany is also home to no less than six of Germany’s 46 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We present these sites in the order of their own history from oldest to the most modern.
The state’s most recent UNESCO award was made in 2017 but interestingly, it went to one of the oldest
monuments: the caves and art of the ice age in the Swabian Alb, southwest of Stuttgart. When the first modern humans settled in Europe during the last Ice Age about 40,000 years ago, some of them settled in the numerous caves of the Swabian Alb that offered protection. In the caves, they left behind the oldest works of art in the world, whose significance for the understanding of human history and the development of the arts is unique worldwide. After decades of research, archaeologists presented around 50 small mammoth ivory sculptures and eight flutes from the six caves in the Ach and Lone valleys. These are the oldest musical instruments known worldwide. You can visit some of the caves and see the art in nearby museums.
In the south on Lake Constance is the collection of the Pfahlbauten or prehistoric lake dwellings from the Late Neolithic, the Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age. In 2011, 111 places with pile dwellings in six European countries became UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including nine on Lake Constance. There is a museum on the shores of Lake Constance as well as a village, or a network of thatched huts built on pilings (said to be for transportation or security) and the huts provide re-enactments of the lives of the pile dwellers, including a show of their tools, such as the oldest wheel and textiles in Europe, which date from around 3000 BC. The museum shows the results of the excavations from 3,000 to 900 BC. It was the preservation of archaeological finds in the mud that enabled this unique reconstruction for early life at the lake. They provide fantastic tours in English for all ages.
The legacy of the Roman Empire is one of the greatest empires that ever existed and is included in the UNESCO in Germany. Of course you have heard of Hadrian’s Wall in England, well the Limes Route is the Roman’s line of defense in Europe. (Limes means path or boundary in Latin) The Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes is part of the Roman border fortifications with castles, watchtowers, walls and palisades with which the former world power demarcated its empire from free Germania. There are also museum-like facilities such as protective structures covering roman ruins which are explained by plans, photographs and finds as well as archaeological parks located in the neighborhood of boundary wall structures with reconstructed or restored exhibitions. Most of the forts were founded at the beginning or middle of the 2nd century and existed until the end of the Roman occupation 260/270 A.D. It is actually a perfect site to visit while practicing social distancing as you can walk or bike the entire route – there is a walking trail and a cycling route – and most of it is located in two nature parks.